Supporting Syrian Chemical Weapons Elimination Date: 09/14/2013 Description: Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman in Geneva. - State Dept Image

The Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation has worked closely with other U.S. agencies and the international community to support the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to eliminate chemical weapons from Syria. The removal of the highest priority chemicals from Syria began Jan. 7, 2014. As of June 21, 2014, all declared chemical weapons agents, precursors, and materials, including production, mixing, and filling equipment, have been destroyed or removed from Syria. We congratulate the OPCW-UN Joint Mission and the entire international coalition for the level of coordination and effort involved with removing more than 1,000 tons of chemicals from Syria. We thank Joint Mission Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag, OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu, and their teams for their vital work under extremely dangerous and challenging circumstances. We also thank our allies and partners, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Finland, and the United Kingdom, who played an essential role in removing these chemical weapons materials.

The highest priority materials will be neutralized aboard a U.S. vessel, the M/V Cape Ray, in international waters. The Department of Defense has developed a blog with photos, updates and special reports on the mission and activities aboard the Cape Ray. You can also see an in-depth video demonstration of how the hydrolysis procedure will neutralize these chemicals before they are disposed of at a commercial facility.

To date, ISN Bureau financial assistance to Syrian chemical weapons elimination efforts totals nearly $6 million from the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund for financial and in-kind contributions to the UN and OPCW. This assistance includes a $2 million financial contribution to the OPCW trust fund to support the inspection and verification of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile and production equipment; as well as another $2 million contribution to the trust fund to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2118. In-kind assistance includes $1.55 million for 10 armored vehicles provided to the UN, and $300,000 for equipment to the OPCW, such as protective gear and medication to counteract exposure to chemical weapons, as well as training to aid OPCW work.

Nuclear Security Summits

The third Nuclear Security Summit was hosted by the Netherlands in The Hague from March 24-25, 2014. Fifty-three countries and four international organizations were invited. During the Summit, 58 world leaders made concrete agreements to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear material that could be used to make a nuclear weapon.

The Hague Summit built on the impressive track record of the previous two Summits, and focused on the key issues of strengthening the global nuclear security architecture, elevating the importance of cooperation between governments and nuclear industry, and maintaining the high level of achievement on Summit commitments. At the Summit, the international community reviewed the progress made since the 2012 Summit, focused attention on objectives enunciated in the Seoul Communiqué and Washington Work Plan that have not yet been met, and developed a clear way ahead to translate them from ambition to action. More»

The official Nuclear Security Summit page can be found here.

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